A man says taxation laws do not apply to him because he does not accept recognition as a person – an argument a magistrate has described as nonsense.
Glen James Polglaise, of North Bendigo, failed to submit six tax returns for the financial years ending 2012 to 2017.
On Wednesday, Polglaise – who stated his name was Glen, of the family Polglaise – told the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court that “as a human being who waives my right to recognition as a person”, he did not accept the six charges of failing to provide an income tax return.
Polglaise referred to international covenants to support his argument that he was not subject to taxation laws, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Universal Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, quoting the latter’s assertion that no one should be held in servitude.
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He also stated that the person named in the charges was not him, and argued his “natural wealth” was being withheld.
Australian Taxation Office prosecutor Gavin Deriu told the court Polglaise sent a letter to the ATO in December 2016, which contained constitutional arguments as to why taxation laws did not apply to him.
Mr Deriu said “heavily marked” tax forms and payment summaries accompanied the letter.
The ATO sent Polglaise a number of responses outlining that he had earned income and was required to lodge tax returns.
A final notice to lodge the six tax returns by January 18, 2018 was sent to Polglaise on November 30, 2017.
A check in February 2018 revealed the returns had still not been lodged, and Polglaise was warned the matter would be referred to prosecutors.
In June 2018, another check confirmed the returns remained outstanding.
The court heard Polglaise had lodged tax returns up to 2010.
Mr Deriu submitted Polglaise was capable of complying with taxation law, and the payment summaries he sent to the ATO showed he received an income.
The forms he did send were not in the approved form, he said.
Mr Deriu added that the Australian Constitution Act was binding on all people of the Commonwealth and gave parliament the power to make laws, including those taxation laws in force.
In response, Polglaise again said he waived his right to personhood.
“As I waive my right to recognition as a person, I am not a resident for tax purposes,” he said.
But magistrate Michael King found Polglaise guilty of all six charges.
Dr King said paying tax did not contravene human rights nor fall within the definition of servitude.
He said taxes were common to every country, and each citizen was obliged to contribute to the wellbeing of their community.
Dr King also considered there to be no basis to an argument that individuals had a choice as to what laws applied to them.
“That would make a mockery of the law,” he said.
Dr King said Polglaise’s arguments were “entirely lacking in merit”.
Polglaise was convicted and fined $6000 plus costs.
Dr King also ordered that he lodge the outstanding tax returns by May 1.
“This was persistent and blatant disregard of income tax law,” he said.
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